by Dan Savage
on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM
Posted yesterday, moved up.
In New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, Washington D.C., and other places where marriage equality has been achieved, crowds of same-sex couples wanted to marry on the very first day. Some couples had been together for decades and were anxious to make it official, some had already had their commitment ceremonies and wanted to seal the deal with that piece of paper, and others wanted to marry on what would on an historic day. Joyful scenes played out in at city halls and on courthouse steps as same-sex couples married in front of cheering crowds of friends, families, and supporters.
We can expect to see the same joyful scenes right here early next month. Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses in Washington state starting on December 6, and—because there's a three-day waiting period to get married here—same-sex couples will start getting legally married in Washington on Sunday, December 9. (Eli Sanders runs you through the logistical details here.)
Mayor Mike McGinn is opening Seattle City Hall's gorgeous lobby to all couples who want to marry on December 9. Judges have volunteered to perform weddings for free and the Stranger is working with Jennifer Zeyl and Alicia Berger and other local scenic artists to create four tasteful and dignified pop-up wedding "chapels" in the lobby of City Hall. There won't be anything silly or camp or ironic about the pop-up chapel instillations. The doors at City Hall will open at 11 AM on December 9 and any couple who comes with their paperwork will be able to get married at City Hall between noon and 5 PM.
The Stranger is kicking in $2000 to help pay for materials and Stranger staff members—many of whom worked phone banks for R-74—are volunteering their time to help pull this together. This isn't about staging a Moonie-style mass wedding, but creating a beautiful spot for couples who wish to marry on that first day. We're going to need more volunteers to help out at City Hall on December 9 and we're looking for donations of refreshments for people waiting in line. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to volunteer or make a donation.
We've heard from clubs and theaters and organizations that are planning celebrations and open-to-all wedding receptions for later in the evening and we'll be sharing details about those parties and receptions as they become available. More details to come.